Woman handling a horse feeding.

Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program

The Bureau of Land Management's Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program is a proactive program for protecting the welfare of wild horses and burros under the agency's management and protection. The BLM is committed to protecting animal welfare and providing humane care and treatment to all wild horses and burros protected by the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act. 

The CAWP formalizes standard operating procedures surrounding animal care and handling; establishes formal training programs in animal welfare for BLM personnel, partners and contractors; and implements internal and external assessments for all activities undertaken in the Wild Horse and Burro Program. The program areas covered under the CAWP are:

  • On the Range
  • During Gathers
  • Off-Range Corrals, Transportation, and Adoption/Sale Events
  • Off-Range Pastures
  • Following Placement into Private Care

What is "Comprehensive"?

Woman standing with a burro on each side

Comprehensive means the standards for humane handling and compassionate care apply to all management activities undertaken by BLM staff, partners, contractors and volunteers. This includes activities on public lands, in BLM and contracted facilities, and during transportation. Comprehensive also describes the program's approach, which includes establishing standards, providing training, collecting data, assessing results and recommending changes. 

What is "Animal Welfare"?

Man with horse

Animal welfare is the physical and psychological well-being of animals and how they are coping with their environments. Animal welfare science considers three aspects of the animal’s physical and psychological state: body, behavior and mind. The body includes heath and function, nutrition, growth freedom from injury and disease. The mind includes emotional states, pleasure, suffering and fear. The behavior includes innate and learned characteristics and behaviors, and needs of being a horse or burro.

Program Components

The BLM's Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program includes four elements:

  1. Develop the animal welfare standards. Standards have been developed and are in place for gathers and off-range corrals, transportation and adoption/sale events. Standards are under development or planned to be developed for on the range, off-range pastures and following placement into private care. 
  2. Train BLM staff, contractors and partners on the standards.
  3. Conduct animal welfare assessment using the assessment tool or checklist.
  4. Document, share and learn from the animal welfare assessment results to make program improvements where warranted. 

Access Permanent Instruction Memorandum 2021-002: Wild Horse and Burro Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program

Access Instruction Memorandum 2023-041: Wild Horse and Burro Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program Standards for Off-Range Pastures (ORPs) and Public Off-Range Pastures (PORPs)

CAWP Internal Assessments

The BLM CAWP Team completes periodic internal assessments of CAWP compliance for all operational activities in the Wild Horse and Burro Program. Reports are generally made available to the public seven business days after the report is finalized by the CAWP Team. 

For more information, download the BLM's Comprehensive Animal Welfare Program Fact Sheet

On the Range

Coming soon

During Gathers

Fiscal Year 2021

Antelope Complex Emergency Wild Horse Gather
Barren Valley Complex Emergency Wild Horse Gather
Jackson Mountain Emergency Wild Horse Gather
Onaqui Mountain Wild Horse Gather

Fiscal Year 2022

Centennial Emergency Wild Horse Gather
Black Mountain Wild Burro Gather
Piceance-East Douglas Wild Horse Gather
Triple B Complex Wild Horse Gather
Blue Wing Complex Wild Horse and Burro Gather
Bible Springs Complex Wild Horse Gather
Twin Peaks Complex Wild Horse Gather

Fiscal Year 2023

Antelope Complex North Wild Horse Gather
Antelope Complex South Wild Horse Gather
Desatoya Wild Horse Gather

Off-Range Corrals, Transportation and Adoption/Sale Events

Fiscal Year 2022

Adoption and Sale Events

Okeechobee, FL adoption and sale event

Off-Range Corrals

Northern Nevada Correctional Center Off-Range Corral (Carson City, NV)
Indian Lakes Off-Range Corral (Fallon, NV)
Palomino Valley Center Off-Range Corral (Reno, NV)
Burns Off-Range Corral (Burns, OR)
Boise Off-Range Corral (Boise, ID)
Bruneau Off-Range Corral (Bruneau, ID)
Canon City Off-Range Corral (Canon City, CO)
Wheatland Off-Range Corral (Wheatland, WY)
Mantle Adoption and Training Facility (Wheatland, WY) 
Rock Springs Off-Range Corral (Rock Springs, WY)
Wyoming Honor Farm (Riverton, WY)
Axtell Off-Range Corral (UT)
Sutherland Off-Range Corral (UT)
Delta Off-Range Corral (UT)
Litchfield Off-Range Corral (CA)
Ridgecrest Off-Range Corral (CA)
Rio Cosumnes (R3C) Off-Range Corral (Elk Grove, CA)

Fiscal Year 2023

Adoption and Sale Events

Abilene, TX event
Doswell, VA event
Carthage, MO event
West Bend, WI event
Hamilton, MT event
Raleigh, NC event

Off-Range Corrals

Elm Creek Off-Range Corral (NE)
Ewing Off-Range Corral (IL)
Florence Off-Range Corral (AZ)
Hutchinson Off-Range Corral (KS)
Pauls Valley Off-Range Corral (OK)

Off-Range Pastures

Coming soon

Following Placement into Private Care

Coming soon